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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Thus far, the 2015 Lexus NX crossover hasn't been rated for crash safety either by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It's fitted with eight airbags as standard: front and side bags for the two front-seat passengers, side-curtain airbags to cover the front and rear side windows, as well as a driver's knee airbag and a new front-seat passenger cushion airbag.
Optional electronic safety features include the Pre-Collision Safety System, which senses impending collisions with obstacles or other vehicles ahead via the sensors used for the adaptive cruise control. It warns the driver both with a light and a buzzer if a crash is imminent, and will brake automatically if the driver doesn't respond--bringing the NX to a full stop from speeds up to 37 mph.
Also available is a Lane-Departure Alert function, to warn the driver if the vehicle is drifting out of its traffic lane, based on image processing from a windshield-mounted camera. The same camera also controls automatic highlight dimming when there are oncoming vehicles, which Lexus calls Intelligent High Beams.
Like many new crossovers, the rear three-quarter vision isn't great in the Lexus NX. A rising window line meets a falling roofline to provide only a small triangular view out the rear side, and the rear-vision camera becomes a necessity for safe reversing and parking.
The 2015 Lexus NX hasn't yet been crash-tested by the NHTSA or IIHS, but offers up-to-the-minute standard and optional safety features.